In the time leading up to accepting my current role, I talked to several people about other roles, the jobs they were doing, particularly the transition into product or program manager positions from the consulting and technology specialist roles I was more familiar with. I had two people, in very different positions, both give the same advice:
"Every day, you'll come in and have a list of the 9 things you need to get done that day. Every night, you'll go home after only accomplishing 3 of them. Learning how to decide which 3, and and reminding yourself that you were productive, even though most of your list didn't get done, will be one of the fastest ways for you to ramp up and be successful."
In both instances, I nodded intently at the wisdome of this advice, while at the same time thinking to myself, "come on, 3 things? that's it? if they're all tasks that have to be done that day, how can only 3 of them get done? I'm a pretty organized and efficient guy, I just don't see that being an issue for me."
2 months into my new role, I've learned one thing: those guys were totally right on.
Part of this is self-inflicted - as the new, eager to please rookie, I'm quick to volunteer to take on extra responsibilities. This in and of itself is not a bad thing, our team definitely respects people doing things outside their box, but the seemingly inauspicious act of, say, writing a spec for a new offering, means I am now effectively the PM for that offering, and I'm working with vendor relationship, including getting their statement of work approved by LCA and getting them invoiced. We haven't even started development, testing and releasing the offering, but I'll have a hand in that too.
And of course, it's not just one offering. I have a hand in about 4 of them at the moment.
I'm also getting ready to rollout the program these offerings support to the IT Pro Evangelists in the field. That means organizing training, meetings, and collecting feedback from those folks. There are, as best we can tell, 77 of them.
In order to make sure we're providing the best content, I also interface with the product groups to see what content they're building (or having built) to see what gaps we can fill. That's a bunch more people, meetings, and content to organize.
Because I actually want to Evangelize (that being my job title and all), I'm setting up additional meetings with MS IT to do Channel9 interviews, so we can show how Microsoft goes about rolling out SharePoint 2007, or managed desktops, or half a dozen other new technologies. I traded emails just today with our CIO about an interview I want to do. Another group wants to wait until the product ships before they talk about it, so I'm working with them to convince them that it's ok, really, to talk about it. Just a little bit.
So yeah, I had a post it note with a list of stuff I wanted to do today. It was a pretty long list.
Today was a good day. I crossed off like 4 of them.